The historic center of Jeddah, Al-Balad attracts many people every year, eager to experience the sight of old-world architecture dating from the 7th century. This sits alongside the leading lights of 21st-century commerce. Populated with historic mosques, modern shopping malls and traditional markets known as souks, there is plenty to explore in Al-Balad.
Alleyways and souksAl-Balad is a maze of tight-knit alleyways, piazzas, streets, and quadrangles, which all conspire together to provide relief from the heat of the Arabian sun. Shoppers can browse Al-Balad's many souks, including the Al-Saghah (a jewelry souk), the Al-Alaweey, and the Al-Nada Souq, for deals on handmade goods.
If you are looking for elements of the old world, the old gate and walls of Jeddah are well worth investigating. In direct contrast with the ancient buildings, you can also find upscale shopping centers and company headquarters of large Saudi businesses standing alongside them.
Naseef House MuseumIn Naseef House, there is a charming museum that depicts artists’ impressions of the Holy City of Makkah, or Mecca as it is most commonly known, through the ages. It also displays photographs marking the life of Kind Abdul Aziz and his family. Make sure you ascend to the rooftop for a fantastic vantage point of the city. Be sure to snap a picture of the Neem tree that stands on the grounds. When first built, a tree was planted here which is said to be the first tree in Jeddah. Due to the scarcity of water in the city, it was no small feat to nurture the Neem, but they succeeded and since, the house was then referred to as ‘The house with the tree’.
Radisson Blu Royal Suite Hotel, Jeddah, is a short 15-minute taxi drive from historic Al-Balad, making it a convenient place to come back to after a long day of sightseeing. Here you can enjoy spacious rooms, relax and unwind in the fitness and wellness facilities, or enjoy fine dining in Al Iwan Restaurant.